What to do when your grades suddenly fall

ZeeTan99 asks: I am an A-grade student (13 yrs old) but the problem is that I’m pretty sure I’ll get a D or something in TWO SUBJECTS! Tomorrow I’m gonna get my report card, and I don’t know how I’m going to show it to my parents. I’m having nightmares about this, and I just can’t stop thinking about it. It’s got me really stressed you can’t imagine. So please please, tell me what to do. I’m very very confused and I could really use someone’s help.

Hi ZeeTan99 –


Oh I know that feeling!  It’s like when I was being perfectly good and quiet and watching out the window, and a cat suddenly appeared just outside, and I jumped up yelling and broke a pane of glass!  And I hadn’t meant to do it, but I knew Handsome was going to walk into the room and be very unhappy about it!  You’re in exactly the position I was in as I heard his footsteps approach the doorway!

But do you know what happened when he got to me?  Sure, he was shocked at what had happened.  But then he checked my nose and my paws, to make sure there wasn’t any glass in them, and then he put me out back, so I wouldn’t step on anything sharp, and then he cleaned all the glass up very carefully.  Because he was way more worried about me than he was upset about the broken glass.


Now sure, when he paid the glazier who repaired the pane, he did give me an exasperated look and mutter “You knucklehead!”  But overall, he reacted to my mistake with love and concern, not anger.


Now, there’s a good chance that, if you’re right about your grades, your parents will first react with shock.  “How did this happen?!”  So it would be a very good idea for you to prepare them.  This would best be achieved by you telling them you have some very bad news, that you’re very sorry to disappoint them, and that (and here’s the best advice I can give you!) you’ve thought about how to make sure this doesn’t happen again.  Then, when they’re concerned that you’ve crashed their car or joined a gang, you show them the grade card.  And while they’ll be surprised and upset at the D’s, the way that mixes with joy at the fact that you (and their car) are okay will make it a lot more bearable.


And this brings up my big question to you.  I do know what I did wrong by jumping into that window.  Do you know how you managed to do so much worse on your grades this term than before?  Did you get bored with those classes and not study them hard enough?  Did you spend too much time talking with friends online or watching TV or playing video games, and not enough doing homework?  Or did you simply have trouble understanding new concepts in those classes?  Or do you actually not know what went wrong?


In any one of these cases (or any other), the best thing you can show your parents is that you care, and that you are taking responsibility for what happened.


My friend, you’re 13 years old.  A couple of D’s aren’t going to affect your life in any big way – as long as you get your grades back up.  All kids, even the best students, have times when their marks are not as good.  What’s important is that you learn from them.  And that means to learn what you did wrong, how and why that happened, and what you can do to change that in the future.  And if you show your parents that you’ve done the responsible thinking to figure all that out, it’s going to be very hard for them to be really upset.


But be sure to let them know how worried you are.  For two reasons.  First, so that they see how much you care.  But also so they realize that maybe you’re too worried.  It’s great that you care about your grades, but this is too much anxiety to be healthy!


Good Luck my friend, let me know how it goes!






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